Non-meat-eaters beware! Carnivorous recipe incoming!!
Sometimes, you just end up with an overstock of an ingredient. Whether you yourself accidentally bought extra, went a little crazy at a sale, or had a roommate leave ten pounds of chicken when they moved out, you need to do something with it, right? I mean, you can’t just throw it out!
I had boiled and shredded a ton of chicken, like I tend to do, and I tried an experiment. A bunch of it went into the freezer for soup later, but some went into the freezer packed in bar b que sauce (of course I labeled it to avoid a soup disaster). I stirred bbq sauce into the chicken (use your favorite brand), put it in a tupperware, then added a bit more sauce on top, and put it in the freezer. A couple weeks later, I moved the bbq chicken to the fridge to thaw for a couple days.
To reheat, spray a glass baking dish with baking spray, then spread your chicken out in it. I used a 9×9 pan, but it depends how much chicken you’re making. I sliced up an onion into large strips and mized it in with the chicken. I added a bit more bbq sauce, and a little water so everything would be nice and moist.
It tasted great! We ate it on sandwiches, and solo, and I loved it both ways. This is a great way to eat breast meat, which can be dry in my opinion, and a less-bad-for-you substitute for shredded pork.
I straight up love quinoa, and I don’t care who knows it! I could eat it every day, and here’s an easy way to accomplish that. Cook 2 cups of quinoa, and about half a bunch of kale (I used a whole bunch (literally) and it was a bit too much).
Mix the cooked quinoa with the kale, and some diced onion, if you want. I used about 1/2 and onion cut in big chunks, because I like to live dangerously. I mixed in a half cup of plain yogurt, but you could go as high as 3/4 to make everything nice and moist. I also use a metric ton of cheese in casseroles, so it’s really hard for me to tell you how much I used. I probably mixed 1 – 1 1/2 cups into the casserole, then scattered at least another 1/2 – 1 cup on top. I know! But it tastes so good!!!!
I mean, look how delicious that is. Can you really fault the amount of cheese I put in there?
A couple things I learned while making this that I should have known already: stir it all THOROUGHLY. Nothing ruins a casserole like a dry spot. Also, if you add a little salt you can use less cheese, but would you really want to?? You can also substitute broccoli for kale if you want, and it would still be fantastic. Hell, with as much cheese as I used you can probably substitute old kitchen sponges and it would still taste great!
As part of my constant quest to reduce the amount of crap in my house, I was sorting through my recipe box getting rid of old stuff that I will never make, or that I can look up on the internets. While doing this, I stumbled across a recipe for orzo pasta with feta and tomatoes. I happened to have some feta and some tiny pasta in the house, so I decided to try it. You will need:
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium tomato, chopped (I used cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley (I used dried, which was okay, but fresh is probably much better)
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel (what? forget that, what a waste of time)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice (I just used the stuff from a bottle, and I don’t see the difference)
Salt and pepper to taste (I of course used garlic salt)
Cook the pasta, drain it, and throw everything together. Eat it warm, and OH MY GOD SO GOOD!!
This is an insanely easy recipe, and would be great for a pot-luck or family event, if you can make it all the way there without eating the entire thing. I tried the same thing with some blue cheese I had around the house after making egg salad, and it was okay. The feta really kills it in this recipe. It’s not all that cheap for a pasta dish, but it’s worth it every once in awhile, like when feta goes on sale.
I have an odd fascination with egg salad. It seems like it should be good - I mean, I like deviled eggs, and it’s essentially the same – but it’s always so bland. I decided I would learn how to make it, and make it tasty. The recipe calls for: 8 eggs, 1/2 cup mayo (I used less than that), 1 tsp mustard, 1/4 cup green onions, 1/2 tsp paprika (I used more than that), salt and pepper to taste.
First things first: boil those eggs. I think I cooked mine 15 minutes, but I googled it so I don’t remember. When they were done, I drained the hot water and rinsed them in cold.
I still managed to peel the eggs, rinse off the extra shell bits, and make eggs salad. I found it was a lot easier to peel them once that had completely cooled, as opposed to once they were cool enough to handle, which was my impatient method. Once they’re actually cool, you can get the membrane under the shell to peel off, which takes a whole bunch of shell with it. I did this yesterday while watching TV, which is my favorite way to be productive.
After the egg-peeling debacle, I rinsed and chopped up the eggs. I recommend rinsing even for people who aren’t as peel-challenged as I am. Nothing kills my appetite faster than rogue bits of egg shell in my mouth. I can never seem to get them out of my teeth once they’re in there. Even talking about it is grossing me out!!
So chop eggs, mix ingredients, tada, food. BUT STILL BLAND. So I took it upon myself to get creative. I tried 2 variations, both of which are good. Not amazing, but good.
I divided the batch in half and added about 1 tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles to one half. The blue cheese blended in well, and the flavor was really good without being over-powering, unless you don’t like blue cheese. In that case, you’re nuts, and probably shouldn’t be allowed near knives or boiling water anyway.
If you are nuts but still determined to make flavorful egg salad, you can try the second variation: Sriracha. What can that beautiful chili sauce not do? It is spicy, so you should probably taste your egg salad frequently to make sure you don’t make it too strong. I also added a big spoonful of chopped garlic, and a bit more salt. Both of these options are much better than traditional egg salad, and I will continue my quest for mix-ins. I want egg salad so good I can eat it with a fork or just rolled up in lettuce, so I can avoid the carbs from bread. I wonder if green olives would be good?
The other day I realized I had a can of enchilada sauce and too many tortillas in my house. Well, make enchiladas, right?? Except I did not want to be in the kitchen rolling tortillas all night. So I made it into a layered casserole instead. Laziness, for the win!
You will need:
Tortillas (corn or flour)
Cheese (A LOT)
Your choice of fillings. I used beans, onions, jalapenos, and cheese. You could use cooked spinach, chicken, beef, or a whole host of things. I had squash and corn filled enchiladas in California once (which were okay), so try anything your little heart desires.
Layer tortillas in the sauce.
Throw down some fillings. I used onions, jalapenos, and beans. I didn’t do a very thick layer. You can make your filling layer thicker, or add another filling layer on top of this one, if you want.
I then added a ton of cheese. I used colby jack and American cheese. Do NOT tell Hubby. It’s so inauthentic to use American cheese, but it was so good! I used big slices of cheese, so there’s probably the equivalent of 2 cups in there. I didn’t feel like shredding it, and slices worked fine.
Then add another layer of tortillas. At this point you can add a second filling layer if you want. I also spread some more enchilada sauce on top of these tortillas. They soak it up while it’s baking.
I then added more raw onions and jalapenos, and EVEN MORE CHEESE YYEAAAAAHHHHHH!!
This is how it came out of the oven. I baked it at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese on top was bubbling.
It was so very awesome. I want more right now! It also reheats really well. The way I made it was a little thin, so Hubby and I each ate about 1/4 of the pan. You could make it thicker as I mentioned earlier, or serve it with a side of rice and refried beans, or a salad. It was so cheesy and melty and delicious and heart attacky.
This is another amazing idea I found on Pinterest. If you haven’t been on there, be careful. It’s addictive. If you ever wanted to make your own
McMuffins generic breakfast egg sandwiches this is the perfect recipe.
Spray some baking spray into a muffin tin, and crack an egg into each muffin cup (or however many you want to make). Bake it at 350 for 15-20 minutes. These bad boys pop out looking just like this:
Well, I semi-scrambled mine. On hers the yolks were intact. These are the perfect size to fit on a mini bagel, with a little cheese!
The author of the recipe was pre-assembling whole sandwiches, wrapping them individually and freezing them for fast breakfasts during the week. She used english muffins also, but the eggs fit better on mini-bagels.
Here are my ideas (as yet untried) for variations that could be mixed into the raw eggs before baking: chunky salsa, cheese, diced onion, spinach and romano cheese, bacon or sausage bits, chorizo or soy-rizo, and sauteed mushrooms and onions. I would mix in ingredients that have low water content, so things don’t get mushy, but it seems like having it mixed in would make these so much easier to reheat.
She recommends reheating in the oven, but if you keep the bun separate from the egg, that’s not necessary. I just toast my bagel and microwave my egg for about 30 seconds on 50% power, or else exploding happens and I get teased.
I’m sure, like good little minions, you saved your ham/turkey bones from Thanksgiving, lovingly wrapped and stored in the freezer. We had a ham (cause Hubby is a pirate, and we all know they only eat ham), so that’s what I used. First, carve as much of the meat off the bones as possible. (No one will judge if you nibble at it like a mouse during this process).
Next, you will need a giant cooking pot with water, about 2 or 3 carrots, half to a whole onion, and either 2-3 stalks of celery, or use the inside of your celery that’s not really good for much else. I threw in a couple cloves of garlic for fun, and you can add a whole jalapeno or two if you want something spicy.
Throw that all together, and you can add your tupperware for your almost-free soup, which you all have in your freezers at all times, right? Get it started boiling, then go do something constructive. I let mine boil for about an hour. You want to cook it until the meat comes off the bones easily. If you cook it too long the cartiledge will start to disintegrate, which is disgusting, so try to avoid that.
Oh, this is just me showing off how much ham is in my freezer:
Most of the time when you make soup stock, you are told to scoop out those veggies that have been boiled to death in the broth, and throw them out. What is the point of that?? Put those in the blender with some of the broth, and blend it all up.
You end up with this veggie mush you can mix right back into the broth. It makes it much thicker and more flavorful. Note: if you are using turkey bones, be VERY CAREFUL to get all the bones out before doing this. You don’t want bone shards in your soup. I swear, I’ve seen muslin bags designed for this exact problem; you put the bones in the bag, then throw it in the pot with everything else. An internet search has turned up nothing, so maybe I’m delusional. Or need more coffee. I can’t have all the answers.
Here’s another quick trick. To clean your blender, rinse it out, then add a drop of dish soap, and fill it with water. Put it back on the base and turn it on for about a minute. This gets the blades really clean while the food is fresh.
Look at that! A double-whammy of helpfulness! IS THERE NO END TO MY GENIUS?
I had never had homemade refried beans until a friend of mine opened my eyes to the amazing possibilities. We make them for breakfast tacos, but they are good any time of day. For this recipe you’ll need some cooked beans, preferably pinto or black, garlic, garlic salt, and either bacon or olive oil, depending on your preferences. I start out by cooking some bacon.
While that’s cooking I chop 4-5 cloves of garlic up very finely.
Oh look! Beans that are already cooked, as if by magic! (I’m like Rachel Ray, but with a normal-sized mouth).
Once the bacon is mostly done, start the garlic browning. If you’re making vegetarian refried beans, brown the garlic in olive oil. Turn the heat down pretty low for this.
I use garlic salt and sriracha to flavor mine, and the potato masher will be very important in a minute. I don’t just take photos of random crap on my counters, this is all part of my plan.
Put a bunch of beans in the pan and mix in the bacon fat or olive oil. Let that heat up a little bit.
Once the beans are warm, smash them with the potato masher (see? The plan! I had one!). Warm beans are a little easier to squish than cold ones, in my opinion. Once you have everything smashed thoroughly, let the beans cook a little more. You want to cook off some of the liquid until they reach a consistency you like. But remember, the beans will thicken as they cool, so let them cook until they are slightly runnier than you’d like. That way, when you serve them they should be just right. If your beans are too dry you can add warm water or olive oil a little at a time to get a consistency you like.
I made these beans into breakfast tacos with the bacon, but I ate all the results before I took a picture. Meh. I had plenty of extra, and I’ve made quesadillas also, which were amazing. This process is way easier than I thought it would be, and it’s very easy to make a small batch to experiment. You can use canned beans, or beans you’ve cooked from scratch yourself. And it’s an excuse to eat bacon!
I’m sure you have all figured out by now that my “recipes” are just, in fact, conglomerations of whatever random crap I have in the house at the time. For this one, I used chicken, but it is very simple to make this vegetarian or vegan; the variations are at the bottom.
Today we’re using one chicken breast, about a half cup of frozen peas, a cup of frozen broccoli, one cup uncooked rice, two scrambled eggs, 1/4 cup chopped onion, and a bunch of teriyaki or soy sauce, whichever you like.
Start by cutting up the chicken really tiny, and sauteeing it in a large sauce pan. Get your rice cooking at the same time, according to the package instructions.
Chop what needs choppin’.
Throw the veggies in to cook with the chicken. You can add some teriyaki or soy sauce, and garlic salt at this point. You can use different vegetables, if you like, such as bell peppers (ew), water chestnuts (EW), or even just a bag of mixed frozen veggies. Once the veggies are almost done, throw in your raw scrambled eggs, and stir them around to cook. I throw teriyaki sauce on top of them while they’re cooking so they get some flavor.
Hey, the rice is done! It’s so fluffy and delicious! You can also use leftover rice for the recipe. If it’s a bit chewy, just throw it into the veggies, once they’re cooked, and add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Let it cook and stir it around to make sure all the rice gets coated in oil and heated up.
Once the rice and veggies are both ready, you can combine them in the pan, and stir everything together. Add your sauce and spices to taste.
To make this recipe vegetarian, leave out the chicken. You substitute tofu if you want, or add extra scrambled eggs. To make it vegan, leave out the chicken and eggs. I consulted my teriyaki sauce bottle, and it appears to be vegan. Everyone can enjoy my cooking; I’m just that amazing.
I usually make a nice breakfast on weekends, even if it occurs at 2 in the afternoon. This last weekend I wanted to try something a little different. I decided to make a sort of crust-less quiche. I started by chopping up a small head of fresh broccoli.
I diced up a small amount of onion.
I sauteed the two together in olive oil with a dash of garlic salt.
While that was cooking, I shredded a little over a quarter cup of parmesan cheese.
I cracked open and scrambled 4 eggs. I threw in a dash of pepper, and about half the cheese.
I then threw the eggs into the pan on top of the veggies. I stirred it around, and made sure all the egg was thoroughly cooked.
I used the rest of the cheese to top the eggs. It was AMAZING. I started stealing off Hubby’s plate, it was so good. I may make it for dinner tonight. I think the key was making sure the broccoli was well-seasoned before the eggs were ever introduced. Plus, this type of cheese is very flavorful, and I want more right this second.
First off, I have to tell you all that something very serious has happened. I’m almost out of coffee. There’s enough for right now, but after that I have to go to the store!! I’ll try to be strong and plow ahead, because that’s how much I love you little minions. Enough to inflict my barely-awake, nonsensical ramblings on you. You’re welcome.
Friday night, I had a fantastic night. Me and Samantha went dancing at our favorite place, Barbarella, and it was everything girls’ night should be: dancing, drinking, gabbing, and pretending to be a lesbian couple so the people hitting on us would go away.
Saturday morning (and by “morning” I mean 2 pm) I paid the price. Not only were my legs sore from jumping around, I was dehydrated and *un-caffeinated*. I know, I don’t know how I survived either. I usually function based on a large number of caffeine injections throughout the day, starting at 9am, so I was well below my daily quota by the time I woke up. I am honestly surprised I even regained consciousness.
After scrabbling around in the kitchen blindly, coffee was created, and I gradually fought off my zombie-like state. I then realized food was the other cure for what ailed me, but again, I need to go to the store. I decided finding pants (other than my Mr. Bubble pajama pants) was a ridiculously monumental task, akin to getting the ring back to Mount Doom, so simple food would have to do. This is a recipe I’ve made before, and I really like it. You will need 2 eggs, 1 cup (uncooked) rice, 1/4 cup onion (or more depending on your preference), and this stuff:
The teriyaki sauce totally makes this dish. It’s similar to soy sauce, but with a more complex, savory flavor. I use instant rice, so I start it in the microwave first thing. Then dice up the onion; I like rather large chunks. Start the onion sauteeing in a frying pan in some olive oil or butter. Once they start to get a teeny bit cooked, throw in some of the teriyaki sauce, and stir.
Let the onions cook to your preference. I like mine a little golden, but still crispy. When the onions make you happy, crack the two eggs into the pan, and stir them around. As the eggs are cooking, throw in another tablespoon or two of teriyaki. Let’s all keep in mind that when I took the pictures I had not had any caffeine for about 15 hours, so the pictures are a bit blurry. You should all just be amazed at the fact I had the presence of mind to take pictures at all in my handicapped state.
Put half the rice in a bowl, and throw a dash of teriyaki on it, then put half the egg mixture on top. This recipe makes enough for two servings, so you can either share, or eat half, pass out, and reheat the rest when you regain your mental faculties.
I know it sounds weird, but this is really good, simple food, and I’ve made it many times when I was not hungover in the slightest. It is easy enough to make when brain no workee, which makes it great hangover food.